Saturday, 16 January 2016

More Sinner Than Sinned Against

The world is more similar than different,
and I am more sinner than sinned against.
Trains criss-cross nations,
and even the poorest get loans
and have phones and buy clothes
to look fancy in. But my hair is lank,
and I've got much too fat
and I'm not sure I'll ever travel again.
I won't sleep on railway station floors
with a book for a pillow, or in train corridors,
with men in old suits standing smoking over me,
leaning out of the window and
flicking their ash down on my head,
I won't dive off cliffs, steal bread rolls from cafe's,
or ask for food off someone's plate.
No, I'm all grown up now,
and more sinner than sinned against,
and the tracks by the railway in Nepal
look as familiar as the track down at the Murrough,
that follows the railway towards Dublin.
And these villagers talking of sons having to leave,to work abroad,
could be the people of Ireland,
waving their children off on Ryanair flights,
to white collar jobs in Europe.
More similar than I knew before,
and every new place is the same.
Language is one thing. Living another.
And all of us inclining towards death.
More sinner than sinned against, and still
I jump up on my high horse,
and seize upon slights,
and that's how it is.
But the house in Nepal is not dissimilar to mine,
with its pictures on the walls
and its hopes and dreams.
Do I dream at night still?
Ever more, and more bizzare.
And I wonder if dreams rise in steam
from trains criss-crossing the lands,
and planes criss-crossing the seas,
as the boy phones his father in tears,
as the girl walks away from her house,
as we sleep and we wake and we dream,
more sinners than sinned against.





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